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Showing posts from March, 2017

public morality, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 129

129

When my private honesty speaks of public morality, I must yield to the public’s having the last word on my inappropriate, disrespectful, and unforgivable behavior – for they can no longer hear me.



A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


mechanical forces, A Human Strategy. Matt Berry, aphorism 306

306


Ultimately, we must have faith that mechanical forces govern our lives completely.  We cannot know all, but must have a nose for the way.  To deny past tendencies, the overall direction of past discoveries ... to face our destination but walk backwards ... that was the consequence of our previous faith.


A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


the public’s most cherished moral ideals, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 130

130


One can be found guilty of actualizing the public’s most cherished moral ideals; for innocence, as the public understands it, one need only cherish.


A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


The struggle for freedom and the struggle after freedom, A Human Strategy. Matt Berry, aphorism 307

307


The struggle for freedom and the struggle after freedom is won are so dissimilar as to make a man feel he was mistaken to seek freedom in the first place.  When faced with “What was it that I really wanted?”  he can no longer explain his frustration, except to say that he no longer seems to have needed so much ... only this next thing that is withheld from him, the acquisition of which will teach him the same lesson again: he does not need this either.  Freedom is not a real goal, but the misunderstanding reduces him toward sufficiency.  He becomes a concentrated force.


A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


When a man becomes a nonconformist, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 131

131

When a man becomes a nonconformist and opposes society, we would almost want to call him a whole man but that he has also polarized himself against a part of himself.



A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


a self-affirming goal, A Human Strategy. Matt Berry, aphorism 308

308

If I waddle somewhat toward a self-affirming goal, my desires and whims follow like a brood of ducklings. If I stop to gather them in, they scatter ... and I chase after.



A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


righteous nonconformity, aphorism 132, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry

132

With righteous nonconformity I am no longer tractable to what the public expect, but to what they ought to expect.


A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


freedom, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 309

309

Too often “freedom” is another word for “ignorance.” It serves as a palliative for our shock at seeing the gears and levers behind our nature.



A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


The Moral Fanatic, aphorism 133, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry

133

The Moral Fanatic: Mustering up the courage to actualize one’s morality is often the beginning of immorality. In fact moral actualization is often that backdrop of Evil without which there might have been no display of Good. Solitary actualization usually offends the public, and the moral display of removing this offense often succeeds by default ... and Good then triumphs over Evil.



A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


a genuine method for happiness, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 310

310

One finds a genuine method for happiness but saddens all others by trying to convert them to the same. Perhaps happiness is in the private rebellion of finding ... just as sadness would lie in having to be granted permission to search.



A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


the exalted human experience, aphorism 134, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry

134

Historical honesty and the exalted human experience are opposed.  When Plutarch reports, and is in turn carried higher by Amyot, and yet higher by North, and then reaches its final orbit through Shakespeare ... the historian objects ... in vain.  When the town charlatan passes off despicable behavior as being “ordained by God,” he can within a very few generations not only surpass history within his own culture, but among the complacent at large as well.  Out of this dung, hidden well beneath the surface, the lush but thorny bush yields berries that can only be picked with the most delicate fingers and every honest attack leaves the assailant bloodied.



A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


The proud mind, aphorism 134, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry

134

The proud mind denies the existence of the stimulus in an argument, and so does not see or feel the force of the necessary response, creating the illusion that it is not the perceiver but the world that is twisted.

A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


an inherited error, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 135

135

There might be a limit to the price a society is willing to pay in order for an inherited error to persist.  And it might be embarrassing to debate whether that limit is a bargain or a great expense.  Society of course regards even the utmost sacrifice as only a “small price to pay” for the preservation of accepted notions of moral decency.  Herd behavior appears to place a greater value on preserving cultural inertia than upon holding to the value it claims for “Truth.”


A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


any claim to honesty, aphorism 135, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry

The Nature of this Book and Some Problems

135

This is not a book which proceeds from point A to point B.  I am more concerned with the natural phenomenon of “spontaneity.”  I need to stress the words “natural phenomenon.”  The words “transcendence” and “spontaneity” are too frequently excuses for flights away from reality ... so I like to temper such words with the acknowledgment that spontaneity and transcendence are governed by natural laws and that they are limited to the private human experience; they are not “supernatural events” nor dependent upon external “authorities.”  I am not afraid to disinfect the misunderstanding by sponging the issue with the behaviorist’s word-set ... while preserving the exalted sensation as a goal.  I am also not afraid of my life, my direct experience with my small reality being of more importance and of greater validity than all of the greatest literature combined.  I need not appeal to another “thinker” before making the attempt to live.  I live. …

passionate observers, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 136

136

There is no such thing as a public morality which can withstand private application.  Nor a public moral victory which is not dampened by private honesty.  The glory burns only upon a stage constructed by and for passionate observers.  In any actualization independent of public display, it destroys the agent's emotional health and breaks with the public's own notion of decent behavior.


A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


a fool or a liar, aphorism 136, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry

136

One day I woke up and found that everyone I had ever met was either a fool or a liar. Another day, much later, I found that this had been my first real step toward myself.



A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 309

309

Too often “freedom” is another word for “ignorance.” It serves as a palliative for our shock at seeing the gears and levers behind our nature.



A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


disciples , The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 137

137

A moralist’s disciples persist only as his pallbearers.



A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


a genuine method, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 310

310

One finds a genuine method for happiness but saddens all others by trying to convert them to the same. Perhaps happiness is in the private rebellion of finding ... just as sadness would lie in having to be granted permission to search.



A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


mercenary ideals, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 138

138
The goal recruits mercenary ideals.  And the righteous identity is a goal....


A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 311

311

The most empowering discoveries in my life have revealed a loss of freedom.



A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism